You can't live in New England without being familiar with this saying: "Don't like the weather? Just wait a minute." Well, we waited more than a minute for that pesky January thaw to leave, but leave it did and we're well on our way to having the mountain in good shape for the weekend.
This week has been consistently cold and wintry, and the weekend should bring more of the same. Friday starts off pretty chilly, with highs in the single digits and a chance of light snow. The thermometer will be on the rise during the day, taking us into some more reasonable temps for Saturday and Sunday. Both weekend days will have highs in the mid to upper 20s with moderate wind. There is white stuff in the forecast as well, with Sunday looking like the better bet for us to add to our snow totals. With new snow on the ground from this week combined with the hard work of our groomers and snowmakers, we've made significant progress!
Trails and Conditions:
Mondays are by far the most depressing day of the week. And on Monday morning we had downright icky and warm daytime weather, with the freeze hitting us late in the evening. That led us to Tuesday's trail count of 7. Ya, that just won't do. But the great news is that we came back in a big way. By Wednesday we were up to 16 trails, Thursday it was 25, andfor this weekend, we're able to project 30 trails and 5 lifts. Unfortunately, Wilderness has not been able to bounce back as quickly as we would have liked, but Timberline will be up and running starting on Saturday with a few trails for you to get at. Butterscotch Park and Jungle Jib are also open for our terrain park fans.
We've done a lot of grooming this week to break up icy snow on the thinner trails to allow for more skiable snow surfaces. The open trails this weekend will all be groomed and you can anticipate the snow surface to be a mix of both frozen granular and packed powder conditions. The snow is skiing well, with the recent snowfall making conditions feel fresh. The base feels solid, but not crusty and turns can be made easily. We've had some good output in terms of snowmaking, and guns fired up on several different trails this week.
All of our efforts have really helped us climb back from the warm spell, and we hope you enjoy the trails this weekend. Know that we're in good shape, and we only stand to see improved conditions as favorable weather is expected to continue.
On Saturday from 8-11pm, take in some "outlaw country" with Donna Thunders and the Storm. Wind down your day of skiing with a little fiddle, banjo and mandolin. While you're at it, get yourself a Labatt or Vermont's own Magic Hat #9, 'cause it'll be on special.
Sunday brings back the Dewey Drive Band for a return appearance! This band is well known in the JMT, playing a wide variety of originals and B-sides including country, swing, blues and rock & roll. Catch them from 8-11pm, with Labatt and #9 again on special.
We have also two special events coming up in the last weekend in January, so mark your calendar.
PHAT Helmet Day: We will host PHAT Helmet Day on Saturday January 26th. PHAT encourages you to Protect your Head at All Times. Look for their table in the Base Lodge which will be filled with helpful info on helmet use for skiers and riders. Sign up to get your name in the raffle for a free helmet giveaway too!
5th Annual Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival: The following day, Sunday January 27th, is the 5th Annual Get Out and Backcountry Ski Festival. This is an event for both experienced and novice backcountry skiers alike. Take a guided backcountry tour on our beautiful terrain and then check out workshops to build skills and understanding about all things backcountry. There will also be an opportunity to demo the latest equipment on the market. And, what day on skis would be complete without an après party? The event is $40 for Catamount Trail Association members and $60 for non-members. Find out more about the festival and register through the CTA.